RTD, police continue to investigate R Line train derailment in Aurora


AURORA | Aurora police and Regional Transportation District officials are continuing to investigate an incident in which a light-rail car‭ ‬came off the tracks and several people were injured‭, ‬at least one seriously‭, ‬in Aurora last week‭, ‬officials confirmed Monday‭. ‬

As originally reported by The Denver Post‭, ‬the driver of an R Line light rail train that derailed near the intersection of Sable Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue during an early morning snowstorm on Jan‭. ‬28‭ ‬has been placed on paid administrative leave‭, ‬according to Laurie Huff‭, ‬RTD spokeswoman‭.‬

That’s standard RTD policy following such incidents‭, ‬Huff said‭. ‬

“That fact doesn’t imply any blame‭, ‬that’s just a reflection of the process‭,‬”‭ ‬she said‭.‬

Huff said RTD is conducting an internal investigation of the derailment‭, ‬and Aurora police are conducting their own inquiry‭. ‬

Huff did not specify when the RTD investigation may be finished‭, ‬but she said the results will likely be made public upon completion‭.‬

Officer Kevin Deichsel, spokesman for the Aurora police traffic unit, said police are still “knee-deep in the investigation … we’re still trying to figure out the electronic side of it.”

Deichsel said the APD investigation will take “several weeks” to complete.

An R Line train turning west onto East Exposition Avenue‭ ‬“jumped the tracks”‭ ‬at about 7:15‭ ‬a.m‭. ‬last Monday‭, ‬according to Aurora police‭. ‬

One woman was‭ ‬“ejected from the train‭,‬”‭ ‬and sustained serious injuries‭, ‬according to police‭. ‬The woman is now in stable condition‭. ‬

Witness reports from the scene indicated the woman who was ejected had a portion of one of her lower extremities severed‭.‬

“My knee and rib hurt but thank you lord for protectin(g‭) ‬me from what (c)ould‭ ‬have been worse‭,‬”‭ ‬Davion Finley‭, ‬a man who said he was on the train when it came off the tracks‭, ‬wrote on Facebook shortly after the incident‭. ‬“Pray those wom(e)n‭ ‬are OK‭, ‬especially the lady who got her foot chopped off‭.‬”

Several other people on the train were treated for minor injuries‭, ‬according to police‭. ‬

Finley wrote that‭ ‬“the train almost flipped over‭,‬”‭ ‬but hooked into the oncoming tracks‭. ‬Several other people on the train were tossed into each other‭, ‬Finley wrote‭.‬

Heavy snow delayed buses and trains for hours early last Monday‭.‬

“Speed and weather conditions‭, ‬due to heavy snowfall‭, ‬are factors being considered‭,‬”‭ ‬Aurora Police Sgt‭. ‬Chris Carleton wrote on the department blog last week‭.‬

The intersection was closed for several hours as investigators worked to clear the scene‭.‬